Installation of solar photovoltaic energy systems has grown as costs of solar panels decline, writes Nancy Folbre, professor emerita of economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. The price of solar panels has fallen by 60% since the start of 2011, and in some European countries the need for subsidies weakens as solar energy systems become more affordable. The growth of solar energy projects has also raised employment in the industry by about 20% to nearly 143,000 workers in 2013, compared to 2012, according to the Solar Foundation’s Solar Job Census.

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